‘Rights of traditional fishermen should be protected’

Delegation from TN met Union Fisheries Minister

A large number of fishermen leaders from various associations across Tamil Nadu participated in the Fisheries Day celebrations held in New Delhi last week.

Fishermen leader Jesu Raja from Rameswaram, who was part of the delegation, on return from New Delhi said that they had an exclusive meeting with the Union Fisheries Minister Parshottam Rupala and discussed various issues including the problems with Sri Lankan Navy personnel, diesel subsidy and enhancement of central subsidy for deep sea fishing boat and among others.

Speaking to The Hindu on Monday, he said that after the visit of the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka to Rameswaram last week, they had high hopes of resolving issues between the fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Utilising the opportunity to be part of the National Fisheries Day celebrations at New Delhi, the delegation briefed the Minister and senior officials about the need for direct dialogue with the fishermen in Sri Lanka, which alone, they said, would bring in a permanent solution for fishing in Palk Bay.

Union Minister Mr. Rupala, who heard the fishermen from different States for well over two hours, has assured to visit Rameswaram soon, Mr Jesu Raja said and added that they had jointly presented a 12-point charter of demands which included the impact the Indian Marine Fisheries Bill 2021 will have on fishermen, to declare traditional fishermen as tribes and to recognise them as traditional fishermen, to provide better infrastructure for fishermen at the fish landing centre and enhance financial assistance during the annual ban period.

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